War is not the only arena where peace is done to death ~ Aung San Suu Kyi, at her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech
It’s true that war isn’t the only battlefield
where peace is stabbed to death, shred
into pieces by missiles, it’s also peeled
off by gentle hands and torn stone dead
every day in closed cells and sealed
yards, small rooms and the sweep of widespread
placid nods of automated heads.
And prisons too come in myriad forms
tightly curled buds, cells, walls, snug cocoons.
All life must constantly escape its homes
constantly force open the petals of fortunes
and sail on unknown winds, transform
painfully, trim, hack and prune
and all the same, die all too soon.
There is the life of prisons far away
and there’s life on a different plane
but violence filed in both their dossiers
repeated exercises of mechanical pain
hope and faith are so easy to mislay
when peace is shelled and shot again and again
in all-pervasive, relentless campaigns.
There are deaths on battlefields, and foetusesstrangled in wombs and quickly disposed
or else unborn still, taught clever bypasses
to adult war formations that closed
about warriors aeons ago. We repeat all the losses,
no lessons are learnt, no hostilities paused
only time and technicalities transposed.